All about Osteoporosis

What is osteoporosis?

Our bones are constantly renewed through a natural process in which new bone cells replace old bone cells, however this process becomes less efficient with age. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the normal amount of bone mass has decreased. People with osteoporosis have brittle bones, which rises the risk of bone fracture, particularly in the hip, spine, and wrist, or vertebral deformities. Approximately 1.5 million Canadians aged 40 years and over (10%) have osteoporosis. It is estimated that osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually worldwide.

Who are the people at risk of osteoporosis?

Decreased bone mass and an increased risk of bone fractures become more common with age. This condition is often caused by an imbalance of bone resorption and new bone formation. Apart from age, risk factors associated with osteoporosis include female sex, family history of osteoporosis, smoking, high caffeine intake, alcohol intake, immobilization, early menopause, and low body weight.

What are the signs and symptoms of osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is called the "silent disease", because there are rarely signs for a long time. Unfortunately, the first sign could be a bone break from a strain or fall. However, once bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may have signs and symptoms that include: back pain caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra, loss of height over time, a stooped posture, or a bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected.

How can I help prevent osteoporosis?

In fact, osteoporosis prevention should begin as early in life as possible, when a bone-healthy diet and plenty of exercise helps achieve more bone mass. For women early prevention is especially important, as the bone loss occurs rapidly after menopause, when the protective effect of estrogen is lost. Ensuring enough calcium, proteins, vitamin D, K and C, and other nutrients like magnesium is critical, especially with age, when your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals may be reduced. Calcium and vitamin D are particularly important for the age-related loss of bone density and skeletal muscle mass, but other minerals, such as magnesium are equally important. Magnesium is actually the key to the body’s proper assimilation and use of calcium and influences extracellular calcium levels. Magnesium helps bones form and remain strong and assures the effectiveness and clinical benefits of vitamin D as well.  Another important vitamin is Vitamin K, essential for the proper utilization of absorbed calcium. 

What other nutrients are important for bone health?

Apart from calcium, magnesium, Vit D3 and K2 other minerals that are important for bone health are zinc, copper, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, iron, boron, selenium.
Good food sources for some of them are: legumes (lentils, kidney beans, peas), eggs, avocados, chickpeas, nuts, mushrooms, dark green, leafy vegetables, fish, oysters, potatoes, broccoli, celery, whole grains, and chocolate.

A great variety of bone health formulas provide excellent bone health support with highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins D, C, K, and trace amounts of other minerals, in the necessary quantity.